The owner of a store specializing in Confederacy merchandise in Branson, Missouri has moved from defending the Confederate flag to defending herself and her business after it was discovered that her family has longtime ties to Ku Klux Klan.
In an interview with the Springfield News-Leader last Monday, Dixie Outfitters owner Anna Robb defended the controversial flag in the wake of the Charleston shootings.
"When something like this happens, people are always looking for something to blame," she explained. "It's easy to grab a hold of the flag and say, 'Oh, it's the flag,' or 'Oh, it's the gun.' The guy [shooter Dylann Roof] was an idiot... He is to blame for this, not the flag."
She added, "Our customers are hardworking, red blooded Americans that understand the history of the Confederate flag. They are not haters or anything like that. They are proud of their country and proud of what the Confederate flag represents. It has nothing to do with the slavery issue."
Tipped off by readers, the News-Leader checked into Robb's background later and discovered her husband was involved with the Klan back in the 90's, and that her father-in-law is Thomas Robb, national director of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan.
An Associated Press report in 1990 showed that Robb's husband, Nathan, applied to adopt one mile of U.S. 65 near the Arkansas-Missouri state line as part of a litter campaign. Robb was identified as “den commander” of a Klan group in Harrison, Arkansas at the time.
Asked about her husband's involvement, Anna Robb dismissed it, saying, "That was when he was very young.”
Robb also admitted that she had previously attended Klan get-togethers, but “That was years ago, and that is not even something that comes up anymore.”
Robb maintained the neither she nor her husband have ever been members of the Klan and they have had no contact with her father-in-law "for years."
Pressed about her family's involvement with the hate group, she demurred.
“It has nothing to do with me, the store or this issue at hand," she said.
Robb did not make her husband available for questions, saying he was too busy filling orders as their business has been overwhelmed with requests for Confederacy-related items since the controversy began earlier in the week.